Survey Data

Reg No

21511015


Rating

Regional


Categories of Special Interest

Architectural Artistic Historical


Previous Name

Shelbourne House


Original Use

Country house


In Use As

Building misc


Date

1780 - 1800


Coordinates

156601, 157279


Date Recorded

12/05/2005


Date Updated

--/--/--


Description

Detached three-bay two-storey over concealed basement rendered Greek Revival house, built c. 1790, articulated by four giant order Doric pilasters, and a central recessed entrance bay with Ionic portico. Five-bay side elevation. Pitched roof barely distinguishable behind parapet wall. Three rendered chimneystacks with stringcourses and plain clay pots. Cast-iron rainwater goods. Smooth rendered walls to all elevations, with Roman cement parapet frieze and cornice, having copper flashing and rendered blocking course with rendered coping above. Square-headed window openings to first floor of front elevation and to all other elevations, with rendered reveals, limestone sills and the remains of six-over-six timber sash window to first floor of side elevation, all other openings boarded-up. Boarded-up Wyatt windows to rear elevation. Round-arched stair hall window opening to north elevation. Round-arched recesses to façade at ground floor level flanking entrance porch with round-arched window with limestone sill, currently blocked-up. Tetrastyle Ionic limestone entrance portico with responding pilasters flanking blocked-up front door opening, with full entablature and blocking course, having copper flashing. Portico on stepped limestone platform. Situated within historic grounds much diminished by the later twentieth century buildings, including the school building built in 1955.

Appraisal

Originally named Shelbourne, this house was the home of William Petty-FitzMaurice (1737-1805), Second Earl of Shelbourne, and Marquis of Lansdowne. It is a large country house with a strong classical presence within the landscape, and a restrained composition bringing to mind an early nineteenth-century Greek Revival manner. This house is faced in materials including Roman cement, which expresses the economic considerations when designing the architectural detailing of this building. Limestone ashlar is limited only to the entrance portico. Like many fine detached villa houses located on the North Circular Road, it overlooked the Shannon and was located a comfortable distance from the city. It was inhabited by the Russell family in the 1880s, who built the Flax Mill on North Circular Road, later taken over by the Cleeve family who extended the mill into what became the Golden Vale complex. The brick-making McNamara family inhabited the house at the turn of the twentieth century. The school dating to 1955 was designed by Robinson, Keefe and Devane.